Welcome To Our Institute

The National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute of South Africa (NRWDI)

A South African State-Owned Entity Dedicated to Professional Nuclear Waste Management and Disposal Services in terms of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute Act, No 53 2008.

Our Head Office
Elias Motsoaledi Street Extension
R104 Pelindaba, Brits Magisterial District
Madibeng Municipality,0240
Telephone: +27 (12) 305 3222
Facsimile +27 (12) 305 3200

Dedicated to Professional Nuclear Waste Management and Disposal Services




With the introduction of a nuclear power program in South Africa during the 1970’s it was realized that radioactive waste will have to be managed and that will require a national site for the disposal of the country’s nuclear waste. In November 2005 Cabinet approved and published the radioactive waste management policy and strategy, which identified the need for the implementation of an independent radioactive waste disposal institute.

The national radioactive waste disposal institute act (no. 53 of 2008) was drafted and became effective on the 1st December 2009 endorsing the establishment of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI).

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The national radioactive waste disposal institute act (no. 53 of 2008)

Legislative Mandate

The management of radioactive waste disposal on a national basis is assigned to the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute. The Institute is an independent entity established by statute under the provision of section 55(2) of the Nuclear Energy Act (No. 46 of 1999) to fulfil the institutional obligation of the Minister of Energy.

As a public entity, NRWDI is also governed by the Public Finance Management Act, Act 1 of 1999 (as amended by Act 29 of 1999), and it is listed as Schedule 3A public entity. In order to play its role in accordance with the legislative and regulatory framework and to focus on delivering its mandate, NRWDI has developed specific outcomes and strategic objectives, around which a number of strategic initiatives and on-going operational programmes have been planned (and are being implemented) to address the organisation’s responsibilities and obligations.

Functional Mandate

The functions of the Institute as per Section 5 of the NRWDI Act (Act 53 of 2008) are summarised as follows:

  • Maintain a national radioactive waste database and publish a report on the inventory and location of all radioactive waste in the Republic at a frequency determined by the board,
  • Manage ownerless radioactive waste on behalf of the Government, including the development of radioactive waste management plans for such waste;
  • Assist generators of small quantities of radioactive waste in all technical aspects related to the management of such waste;
  • Implement institutional control over closed repositories, including radiological monitoring and maintenance as appropriate;
  • Implement any assignments or directives from the Minister regarding radioactive waste management;
  • Provide information on all aspects of radioactive waste management to the public living around radioactive waste disposal facilities and to the public in general;
  • Advise nationally on radioactive waste management;
  • Co-operate with any person or institution in matters falling within these functions; and
  • Any other function necessary to achieve the objectives of the Institute

The majority of the above functions are currently performed within the scope of Low Level Waste (LLW) inventories. In future, the scope would need to be extended to address the national inventory of radioactive waste consisting of Intermediate Level Waste (ILW), High Level Waste (HLW), long-lived waste, spent/used nuclear fuel and disused sealed radioactive sources.

This implies that alternative disposal concepts would have to be researched, designed and implemented. It is also possible that alternative disposal sites would need to be obtained, characterised, constructed and operated.